Our latest group class was a blast! What a treat to meet face to face in a group format again! We started by playing an ice breaker game to review music terms & symbols, then went on to do some group improvisation - a little chaotic, but fun and musical!! Students were shown how they could do some Celtic sounding improvisation on their own at home to liven their St. Patrick's Day celebrations!
Next we played a scale card game...each student had to create a different scale (and were introduced to the concept of scale notes having specific names regardless of the scale...tonic, dominant, leading tone, etc.) and it was a free for all trading war as they raced to finish first and win a little St. Patrick's Day "gold" for their trouble.
And last but not least, we played Rhythm Bingo, where each student was given a bingo card appropriate to their level and had to roll dice to scratch off all the beats on their cards before 10 rolls of the dice! They got to ring the old cow bell when they finished and earned a little more leprechaun 'gold'.
They went on their way with a smile on their face and a clover sugar cookie in hand. Sad that this was the last group class of the year and looking forward to more next year!
Set and feel a steady pulse at an appropriate tempo. Musical pulse is like a heart-beat pulse: it might change speed, but it (hopefully) never stops! Same goes for sight reading…
Get a feel for the rhythm and hum through the melody to get a sense of how it should sound in your head.
Check the key. Think of the piece in terms of chords – think Circle of 5ths (and the chords surrounding the current key on the Circle – the song will contain some or all of these chords)
Work out the highest and lowest notes and, if possible, place hands in a suitable position, including fingers over sharps and flats. Work out if the hands need to change to a different position and how to get there.
Learn the first and last two bars of any sight reading piece perfectly. This ensures a strong start and finish.
Decide from the beginning which hand is more important to the feel of the piece and therefore which hand must keep playing even if they can’t play both together in the middle of the piece.
Look for intervals, chord shapes, broken chords, arpeggios, scale passages, sequences, etc. that are easy to play and will help keep the sense of pulse steady.